LONDON - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is supporting Ecuador while he watches the World Cup from his confinement in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, rejecting his native Australia.
Assange was granted asylum by Quito two years ago to escape extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault that he insists are politically motivated.
But he has been holed-up in the embassy since then, with police guarding the building around the clock ready to arrest him should he attempt to leave.
"I have been watching the World Cup, although the reception in this building is quite difficult," he told reporters on a conference call marking the second anniversary of his entry into the embassy on yesterday.
Revealing his continued concern at surveillance by the US and British authorities, he added: "But perhaps it makes it a bit harder for the bugs (listening devices) to transmit through the walls as well."
Asked who he was supporting in the tournament in Brazil, Assange said: "Of course Ecuador undoubtedly deserves to win the World Cup — it also has a pretty decent team.
"But I think there's such prestige riding on the issue for Brazil that they are the most likely victors."
He might have been expected to support Australia, who play the Netherlands later on Wednesday, but there is no love lost between him and the government in Canberra.
"The Australian government has assisted in no way whatsoever" since he has been in the embassy, Assange said.